Audience Outlook Monitor (AOM)


ArtsBoston is the Boston regional partner of the COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor (AOM), an international, rapid-response longitudinal study of audiences’ attitudes about returning to in-person arts and cultural activities post-coronavirus pandemic. Led by WolfBrown, the project serves as a complement to the state’s phased re-opening plan by informing cultural organizations’ planning for when and how to resume activities from a local audience perspective. The information will also be important to other sectors that rely on cultural consumers, including restaurateurs, hoteliers, and retailers.

Localized Learning Outcomes

The study aims to help arts organizations understand consumers’ post-pandemic appetite for cultural programs, including expected attendance behaviors, spending and donation habits, and evolving thoughts about proximity and safety issues over six months. Specific questions include:

  • Comfort level engaging in activities requiring public interaction (dining, using public transport, etc.)
  • Attendance behaviors (actual ticket purchase, making plans to attend at a future date)
  • Anticipated spending in relation to pre-crisis levels
  • Anticipated impact on philanthropic giving
  • Attitudes about going to venues if distancing requirements persevere
  • At-home arts participation during isolation

Timeline / Methodology

The first round of surveying began May 15 and is followed by regularly scheduled outreach to a rolling roster of audience segments through December. ArtsBoston is deploying the survey semi-monthly to its email list of local arts attendees. Also, ArtsBoston is supporting the participation of a cohort of 15 arts organizations of varying genres/sizes, which will deploy the survey to their patrons starting June 1. Results will be analyzed and shared in comparison to other participating cities, including Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, as well as regionally to provide a locally specific, real-time lens.

Participating Arts Organizations in the Boston Cohort

Actors' Shakespeare Project Logo
American Repertory Theater Logo
ArtsEmerson Logo
Boston Symphony Orchestra Logo
Celebrity Series of Boston Logo
Central Square Theater
Company One Theatre Logo
The Dance Complex Logo
Emerson Colonial Theatre
Global Arts Live Logo
Handel and Haydn Society Logo
Huntington Theatre Company logo
Lyric Stage Company Logo
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Logo
Museum of Science, Boston logo

Many thanks to the City of Boston, Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture for its support of the cohort participation.